A few days ago we posted our ASUS ROG G551JW (GeForce GTX (960M) review, a bulkier, but more affordable version of the G501. We decided to face the notebook against another device with similar, if not identical, specs – Lenovo Y50 (GTX 960M), a gorgeous notebook, with compact design, powerful internals, and great display. How will they stack up against each other and how will the minor hardware differences affect their performance, you will find out in this in-depth comparison.
You can read the full ASUS ROG G551JW (GeForce GTX 960M) review here.
You can read the full Lenovo Y50 (GTX 960M) review here.
ASUS G551JW comes in the traditional for these notebooks red and black box with the ROG logo on top of it. Inside you will find the AC charging cable, adapter, user manuals, DVD with drivers, and a small tie for easier cable management.
Lenovo Y50’s box is less impressive than the one of the G551JW, and it contains the same stuff – user manuals, DVD containing all the drivers needed, AC charging cable and adapter, and, of course, the notebook itself + an external optical drive, since the notebook lacks an internal one.
Design and construction
The overall design of both notebooks is great. Even though ASUS G551JW is considerably bulkier than the Y50 [32.2 mm (1.27″) vs 24.5mm (0.96″)], it weighs only 160g (0.35 lbs) more – 2.6 kg (5.95 lbs) and 2.44 kg (5.38 lbs) respectively. The device doesn’t look bad – it is actually quite appealing. The build quality is also good – mainly polycarbonate with some aluminum touches. Lenovo, Y50 on the other hand, is one of the best looking notebooks on the market, with its aggressive design as its predecessors and even thinner profile of the chassis. Brushed aluminum cover is found on the lid and at the bottom, while on the inside – soft matte plastic.
Both devices feature brushed aluminum lids. G551JW has the usual ASUS ROG logo at the centre of the G551JW with an LED backlight on it, while Y50 has a protruding engraved Lenovo logo at the top left corner, that is also made out of metal. There is a difference in build quality at the bottom, as ASUS G551JW’s is made out of plastic, while that of the Lenovo Y50 is aluminum, just like the top one. Another difference is that the Y50 has big vents at the bottom, for additional airflow by an external cooling pad.
The interiors of both devices feature similar materials. On G551JW the area around the keyboard made out of matte plastic, while at the sides you have the signature red chamfered aluminum edges. The keyboard on the device is comfortable and has the same red LED backlight under the keys as the ones in GL552 and N751. Their brightness can be adjusted quickly with “Fn” + F3 or F4 keys. “WASD” keys are easily distinguished, thanks to the red color around them. Lenovo Y50 also features soft-touch matte plastic in its interior, but it is in contrast to the JBL branded loudspeakers, that are covered with black glossy plastic. As soon as you get use to the size of the keys, the keyboard becomes very easy to work on. A small drawback is the fact, that the keys at the corners are a tad harder to press and if you are a fast typer you may accidentally miss some letters, if you press them too lightly. Interestingly enough, the keyboard seems more suitable for typing, rather than gaming. The plastic used in the interiors of both devices attracts smudges and fingerprints like a magnet, and that could be a little annoying. Thankfully they are relatively easy to clean. Another similarity between the keyboards is that Lenovo Y50’s has its own LED backlight and… it’s red.
Moving to the sides of the devices, plastic is the main material used for both of them, with Lenovo Y50’s being matte, just the same as the one found in the interior. On G551JW the left side contains the DC charging port, HDMI, mini DisplayPort, LAN and two USB 3.0 ports along with the main heat dispersing grill. The right side, however, has the optical drive, one USB 3.0 port and the 3.5 mm jack for headphones or headphones with microphone. The jacks and ports have similar placement on Lenovo Y50 as the DC charging port, HDMI, LAN and two USB 3.0 ports are on the left side, and USB 2.0 port along with the SD card reader and two 3.5 mm jacks for an external microphone and headphones on the right.
Display and sound
The displays of both devices are almost identical. Both have a diagonal of 15.6 inches, 1920 x 1080 resolution, 16:9 aspect ratio and pixel density of 141 PPI with space between each pixel – 0.18 x 0.18 mm.
You can see how the image quality changes on both screens when viewed from 45-degree angle on the images below.
The maximum brightness we were able to measure on ASUS G551JW is 291 cd/m2 with a deviation of 12% (insignificant), while the Lenovo Y50 got 235 cd/m2 with a maximum deviation of 13% (quite acceptable). The color temperature on both notebooks is 5916K and 6482K, respectively. The first one being close the the optimal one – 6500K (D65) and the second aligning almost perfectly with it.
Color Gamut Coverage (CIE)
The gama curve of both displays deviates only slightly from the optimal one – 2.2.
We aimed to calibrate the displays to 6500K color temperature. You can see the results we got from the calibration in the image below.
This color map shows how the colors we got compare to the sample ones.
If we assume a distance of 58cm (~23in) between the human eye and the notebook monitor, then normal (20/20) vision would require a pixel density of at least 150ppi in order to interpret an image as perfectly detailed.
|ASUS ROG G551JW (GeForce GTX 960M) 15.6-inch, LG, 1920 x 1080 pixels||141||-|
|Lenovo Y50 15.6-inch, LG, 1920 x 1080 pixels||141||-|
Higher panel brightness is of key importance for visual comfort when working outside or in a brightly lit room.
|ASUS ROG G551JW (GeForce GTX 960M) 15.6-inch, LG, 1920 x 1080 pixels||292||-|
|Lenovo Y50 15.6-inch, LG, 1920 x 1080 pixels||235||-|
Delta E is a CIE measurement unit of color difference. Higher values indicate that the display produces less accurate colors. (lower results are desirable).
|ASUS ROG G551JW (GeForce GTX 960M) 15.6-inch, LG, 1920 x 1080 pixels||1.31||-|
|Lenovo Y50 15.6-inch, LG, 1920 x 1080 pixels||1.47||-|
The sRGB color gamut, introduced as a standard for the Web, shows the percentage of colors used on the Web that can be displayed on the screen of the device being tested (higher values are better).
|ASUS ROG G551JW (GeForce GTX 960M) 15.6-inch, LG, 1920 x 1080 pixels||84||-|
|Lenovo Y50 15.6-inch, LG, 1920 x 1080 pixels||64||-|
Pulse-width modulation (PWM, Screen flickering)
We ran many other tests on the displays of both notebooks, but we simply cannot include them all in the comparison. If you are interested and you want to find out more information about both screens, you can do it here and here.
Both devices feature high-quality sound.
|ASUS ROG G551 JW (GeForce GTX 960M)||Lenovo Y50 (GTX 960M)|
|Processor||Intel Core i7-4720HQ (4-core, 2.60 – 3.60 Ghz, 6MB cache)||Intel Core i7-4720HQ (4-core, 2.60 – 3.60 Ghz, 6MB cache)|
|RAM||8GB (1x 8192MB) – DDR3, 1600GHz||8GB (2x 4096MB) – DDR3, 1600MHz|
|Graphics card||NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M (2GB GDDR5)||NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M (4GB GDDR5)|
|HD/SSD||1TB HDD (7200rpm)||1TB SSHD (8GB SSD + 1TB HDD (5400 rpm)|
|Display||15.6-inch (39.62 cm.) – 1920×1080 (Full HD), IPS matte||15.6-inch (39.62 cm.) – 1920×1080 (Full HD), IPS|
|Optical drive||DVD burner||–|
|Connectivity||LAN 10/100/1000 Mbps, Wi-Fi 802.11a/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0||Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.02, LAN|
|Battery||6-cell 5000 mAh (52Wh) Li-Polymer Battery||54Wh, 4-Cell Battery (integrated)|
|Thickness||32.2 mm (1.27″)||24.5mm (0.96″)|
|Weight (W/H/D)||2.6 kg (5.95 lbs)||2.44 kg (5.38 lbs)|
For the writing of this comparison, we used Windows 8.1 (64-bit) and all tests were conducted on this OS. You can find all the needed drivers for ASUS G551JW here: http://www.asus.com/Notebooks_Ultrabooks/G551JW/HelpDesk_Download/ and the ones for Lenovo Y50 at Lenovo’s official support page here: http://support.lenovo.com/us/en/products/laptops-and-netbooks/lenovo-y-series-laptops/y50-70-notebook-lenovo
We don’t have high expectations for the battery life on either notebook, since they both have high, power-hungry specs, but we want to show you what results they got in our tests.
We ran the usual tests with the same conditions – Wi-Fi turned on, Bluetooth is off, power saver is on, and screen brightness is set to 120 cd/m2.
|Test type||ASUS G551JW result||Lenovo Y50 (960M) result|
|Web browsing||273 minutes (4 hours and 33 minutes)||200 minutes (3 hours and 20 minutes)|
|HD Video Playback||235 minutes (3 hours and 55 minutes)||181 minutes (3 hours and 1 minute)|
|3D Gaming||64 minutes (1 hour and 4 minutes)||102 minutes (1 hour and 42 minutes)|
Although Intel Core i7-4720HQ debuts in Q1 of 2015, this high-end processor is part of the Haswell family, since the Broadwell generation represents only energy-efficient “U” series chips. The Core i7-4720HQ is a direct successor of the i7-4710HQ which is commonly used in gaming laptops due to its higher clock speeds and high power consumption for more raw performance boost. As usual, the Core i7-4720HQ uses the so-called HyperThreading technology, allowing the CPU to emulate one virtual core for each physical one, thus running 8 threads at the same time with only 4 physical cores. The CPU has a base frequency of 2.6GHz and Turbo Boost up to 3.4GHz for 4 active cores, 3.5GHz for two active cores and 3.6GHz for one active core. This makes the Core i7-4720HQ faster than the Core i7-4710HQ with only 100MHz.
This CPU, as every high and mid-range CPU from Intel, supports the so-called HyperThreading technology, that emulates one virtual core for each physical one. So we have 4 cores with maximum of 8 running threads at the same time. It supports dual memory channel of DDR3(L) 1333/1600MHz and up to 32GB. The chip also integrates the Intel HD Graphic 4600 that has a base clock of 400 and Turbo Boost up to 1200MHz with 20 EU (Execution Units). The maximum TDP of the whole chip is 47W which makes it more suitable for 15-inch laptops or bigger, which are mainly for gaming.
You can browse through our top CPUs ranking: http://laptopmedia.com/top-laptop-cpu-ranking/
Here you will find other useful information and every notebook we’ve tested with this processor: http://laptopmedia.com/processor/intel-core-i7-4720hq/
Results are from the Cinebench 15 CPU test (the higher the score, the better)
Results are from the Fritz chess benchmark (the higher the score, the better)
Fritz is a chess benchmark that tests the computing capabilities of the CPU with various chess moves. Оne of the most powerful PCs, Deep(er) Blue, was able to squeeze out 200 million moves per second. In 1997 Deep(er) Blue even beat the famous Garry Kasparov with 3.5 to 2.5. The Intel Core i7-4720HQ managed to get 13.001 million moves per second on the ASUS G551JW and 10.488 million on Lenovo Y50 (GTX 960M). The reason for the difference in the results, even though both notebooks have the same processor is the fact that the Lenovo’s CPU throttles and its turbo ran off quickly, while the one in the G551JW continued for over an hour.
The GeForce GTX 960M (4GB GDDR5) is placed as a high-end graphics card, but used mostly in budget gaming laptops. It is part of the Maxwell family of GPUs. It features 640 CUDA cores or simply – shading units, along with 32 ROPs and 53 texture units. It has 4GB of dedicated VRAM and in this case GDDR5 type. The speed bandwidth of the memory is 80.2 GB/s and 128-bit bus width.
The GTX 960M uses the same GM107 GPU core that we’ve seen in last year’s 860M, but this one is mainly oriented to bump the notebook’s battery life and add some extra performance, but that’s not stressed as much. However, the GM107 is clocked a bit higher than last year’s model – 1097MHz of base clock and boost up to 1176MHz. It also supports 2048×1536 resolution through VGA port and 3840×2160 with DisplayPort and HDMI.
You can browse through our top GPUs ranking: http://laptopmedia.com/top-laptop-graphics-ranking/
Here you will find other useful information and every notebook we’ve tested with this GPU: http://laptopmedia.com/video-card/nvidia-gtx-960m/
Results are from the 3DMark: Fire Strike (Graphics) benchmark (higher the score, the better)
Results are from the Unigine Heaven 3.0 benchmark (higher the score, the better)
Results are from the Unigine Heaven 4.0 benchmark (higher the score, the better)
We tested the ASUS G551J with the latest drivers from NVIDIA installed and in this case – 35.86 WHQL. You can find the results here.
At the time, that we reviewed Lenovo Y50 (GTX 960M) NVIDIA still had not released official drivers for the GTX 960M and we ran the test with the drivers provided in the DVD – 345.05. You can find the results here.
Both notebooks look good, have great screens and high CPU and GPU performance. They are very similar in many aspects including build quality, design and specs. That being said, it doesn’t come as a surprise that most of the test and benchmark results were close to identical, even though Y50’s CPU has some throttling issues. We leave to you the decision which one comes out on top, or at least is better suited for you.
Reasons to consider ASUS G551JW over Lenovo Y50 (GTX 960M):
- Quality IPS panel without PWM
- Comfortable touchpad and keyboard
- Has an M.2 SATA SSD slot
Reasons to consider Lenovo Y50 (GTX 960M) over ASUS G551JW:
- Stylish and premium aluminum design
- Great sound quality
You can read the full ASUS ROG G551JW (GeForce GTX 960M) review here.
You can read the full Lenovo Y50 (GTX 960M) review here.